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Book review crime fiction mystery reading suspense thriller unreliable narrator

Read and Review (R&R) – “We Were Never Here” by Andrea Bartz

When two best friends travel, what could go wrong? How about a hookup turned violent and deadly? Not once but twice – I guess lightening can strike more than once.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, this book may interest you.

I enjoyed the travel and psychological twists and turns. The friendship element drew me in, but then really it creeped me out. Gaslighting~there was a lot of it. The inner monologue was a bit long and the boyfriend a bit too sweet. So as not to put a spoiler, I will simply say, I would have enjoyed a different ending.

I agree with several reviewers who pointed out that this would make a good Netflix movie.

And…, what is up with the last line of the book? No way could it happen again…

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Book review crime fiction mystery reading suspense thriller Uncategorized

Read and Review (R&R) – “The Redemption,” by C.L. Tolbert

The Redemption
By C.L. Tolbert

A suspenseful legal thriller!

Emma Thornton, a law professor in New Orleans is one tough woman. When two men are murdered on the grounds of the Redemption housing projects, she and her law students mount a defense case.

Louis Bishop is a 16-year-old boy, who grew up hard and fast in the housing development. He is charged with the crimes as an adult and incarcerated with violent adult offenders. Emma takes on a gang, guns, and corruption in the police force to defend him against the potential of a death penalty verdict.

The story is set in a seedy area of New Orleans where the cousin of the accused runs the show and everyone is afraid to talk. As the murders of witnesses who have spoken to Emma began to pile up, she knows she and her family are in the crosshairs, but she won’t stop until there is justice.

I wasn’t surprised to find out the author was a retired attorney. She wove the law, the court system and police procedure throughout the book seamlessly.

Kudos to CL Tolbert for creating such unique characters and plot line. The story is rich with vivid descriptions of New Orleans, secrets, twists, turns, and a developing romance.

I enjoyed reading this well-written, action-packed story.

I only have one question for the author – There was a lot of foreshadowing about a man referred to as “Ninja,” and I kept waiting for him to appear. Will he appear in a future Emma Thornton mystery?

I purchased this book after hearing the author speak on a Zoom event conducted by my local independent bookstore, Mystery Lovers in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. This is the second book in the Thornton Mystery Series, but can be read as a stand-alone. I hadn’t read the first book entitled “Out of Silence,” but I will be sure to pick it up now.

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Book review crime noir pulp thriller

Read and Review (R&R)

Recently “Close to the Bone,” a publisher of pulp, noir, crime, dirty realism & horror contacted me to see if I was interested in reading and reviewing Weston-Super-Nightmare by John Bowie. Bowie’s articles, poetry, short stories, and novels have appeared in Red Dog Press, Close to the Bone, and Bristol Noir, to name a few. I had never read this author and very little in the pulp-noir genre. The prospect of reading this story intrigued me. Below is my review.

John Bowie is an excellent storyteller. As a spider’s web draws your eyes to the center, Bowie pulls you into the dirty underworld filled with violence, gangster wars, and a seedy bar called Hell’s Belles. He introduces a cast of characters you can’t escape. You immediately find a soft spot for his protagonist, Jimi, and a dislike for the hard-edged Max Ballard and the men who do his bidding. Told in a deep and dirty way, some of the story makes you squirm, but Bowie’s writing is poetic and lyrical. Set in the seaside town of Weston, England, his vivid descriptions of the coast make me want to travel there. I loved the references to rock music and artists woven throughout the story. If you are a reader of pulp-noir, I am sure you will enjoy Bowie’s latest. Weston-Super Nightmare is a crash toward destiny thriller.